Hollywood Nightmare: California $20 Minimum Wage Sinks Hollywood's 55-Year-Old Arby's


An Arby’s location in Hollywood that has been called “iconic” closed its doors for good this past week after it fell victim to California’s new $20 an-hour minimum wage law.

The fast-food restaurant always had the beef at 5920 Sunset Blvd.

But after nearly six decades serving locals and tourists in one of Los Angeles County’s busiest areas, the Arby’s closed last Saturday.

KTLA-TV reported employees of the business were seen placing signage around the restaurant that read, “Farewell Hollywood. [Thank you] for 55 great years.”

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The iconic location opened in the late 1960s and had been under the same ownership since it served its first order.

Marilyn Leviton, 91, opened the doors on Jan. 5, 1969, and saw it close unceremoniously last weekend.

Leviton told KTLA that her restaurant barely survived the pandemic response and that California’s new minimum wage was a death knell.

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The woman told the outlet, “Truth is, I think it was the pandemic that did us in.”

Leviton added, “I really feel we would have closed during the pandemic [if it weren’t] for the federal loans.”

The now-former restauranteur said her state’s new law which requires her to pay unskilled laborers $20 an hour ultimately forced her to lock her doors for a final time.

“I’m awfully sorry that it came to this,” she told KTLA. “I think we did a good job for 55 years.”

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom inked his state’s new minimum wage into law last September and the results have been predictable for some.

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Restaurants in the state are closing and instead of making a living, many workers have found themselves without jobs because the price of doing business in the state has proved too costly for entrepreneurs.

As the Hoover Institution noted in April after the law took effect, an estimated 10,000 people had found themselves unemployed.

The new law is not only proving costly for businesses and their employees but for customers as well.

The state now has the most expensive fast food in the country.

California’s $20 per hour minimum wage law does not apply to restaurants that are not considered fast food – including one near Lake Tahoe that is partially owned by Newsom.

Businesses such as Newsom’s PlumpJack Cafe are required to pay a minimum wage of $16 per hour.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.